The Drum Awards Festival - Extended Deadline

-d -h -min -sec


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

March 24, 2017 | 4 min read

Tequila beer brand Desperados has taken music activations to the laboratory, hunting a formula that will redefine how drinks companies can be better integrated with party culture.

Recently it let loose its latest experiment called 'Train Trax', a partnership with Mount Kimbie that saw the electro duo perform a gig using a Warsaw train that had been transformed into a one-off-a-kind instrument (see video).

Sensors, set off by the locomotive, were placed along the track which created music notes, giving the DJs a real-time generated track dictated by the speed of the train. It was further altered by party-goers on the journey.

The end product, beyond a glitzy video, is a remixed track from Mount Kimbie that will go on sale later in the year.

Anna Bizon, global brand director at Desperados, told The Drum that this kind of activity is a key differentiator from that of the many other drinks brands producing music in the sector. She said that given the number of festivals is increasing rapidly, making music an ever critical engagement avenue.

"The festivals have become quite predictable, there are brands that love to do them and it helps them build awareness. But for us, we look to deliver a unique experience, not just a surprise, festival guests must co-create the experiences - we require this experimentation."

The stunt finds pride of place in the Inner Tequila Studios content hub on YouTube, alongside material generated by Bass Drop and House Party Plugged activations, (both below, one a zero gravity party and the other a home where all the fixings contribute to a musical experience).

Among the guests to this triad of music experimentation are influencers, bringing their on-screen presence and unique niches into the mix.

On what the brand is looking for from these individuals, Bizon said: "You need to have the right people, a balance between what fits with the brand and an interest in pioneering, keen to experiment. They're not always the biggest but Desperados can aid their careers."

Authenticity is also vital for the activations, nothing will turn the target audience off faster than a dull party that looks overly staged or unoriginal.

The brand counts Spain, Netherlands and Poland as its European strongholds, she notes theres room for improvement for growth in the Balkans. It thinks the unique proposition of being the Europe's leading tequila beer, coupled with original and interesting activities, can lead to significant cut-through among music lovers. Efforts are also underway to grow the brand in Asia and Africa, South Korea, Vietnam and Ivory Coast stand out as some of the better performers.

The content is distributed on platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. But it will also go somewhere its distributor Heineken won't - Snapchat - albeit in a measured way.

"We needed to make sure our target group was the legal drinking age, the data is limited, so we only ran in the countries we are 100% sure," she said.

Snapchat only provides data such as age to advertisers in select markets, resulting in a limited run in Stories showcasing shortform media from the activation.

On what's to come, the brand urged that there's a final global experiment planned for 2017 - the details are limited - which will be bigger than any its forebearers and will fully enact Bizon's philosophy of interactivity and collaboration with the public.

Entertainment Marketing: Movies, TV, Music and Gaming Technology Desperados

More from Entertainment Marketing: Movies, TV, Music and Gaming

View all